23 - Hello September!
I feel like a couple weeks have passed since last week!

I survived Bubonicon, which is one of my favorite conventions.

I was on a couple of panels, one where I modded the "How to Create Your Own Webcomics," with Ben Girven and Nathan Rackley; and another panel where my friend Amanda and I took ukemi (aikido-speak for "we fell down a lot") for my friend Steve Gould's panel, "The Japanese Sword: How They Really Work."

I spent so much time feeling incredibly anxious and nervous about the panels (which were back to back on Saturday afternoon) that I spent most of the convention nervously fidgeting. I was so unable to sit still and concentrate that I didn't let myself go to any of the other awesome panels, even though I had my schedule planned out, with various things circled, and names underlined. I mostly just hid behind the table in the market area, and helped sell comics. Or maybe I read comics. I can't remember at this point: everything is a blur.

Bubonicon ended Sunday afternoon, and I pretty much slept (or walked around in a daze) until mid-afternoon on Tuesday. I don't know why this convention took so much out of me, but I think it was the anxiety playing havoc with my nerves. I was able to get back to work yesterday (Wednesday) and have a little bit of stuff to show y'all:

This took longer than it should have, to pencil in the page layout, but I just for the life of me, couldn't figure out what to draw. And look: I finally started numbering the dang things so you can see what I'm talking about!

I started with panel 4. I knew I wanted to draw the frog's tongue, as if it's on a dissection table. (I skipped all dissection classes in high school - I get queasy with blood, so I don't actually know what a dissection situation looks like.)

Panel 5 is supposed to be a close up of the frog's barbed tongue, with a bit of poison leaking out.

Panels 1 and 2 are a giant frog monster suspended in liquid with smaller frog monsters everywhere. I'm hoping in panel two that I can draw eggs and tadpoles, but I'm not sure how well that will come across. Panel 6 is Dr. Wessen talking to the reader/narrator of the comic.

Panel 3 (which stretches across the bottom of both pages) is one I'm not so sure of. I know on the left I like the idea of a terrarium sort of thing, with scientists. On the right side of the panel, next to Dr. Wessen my instinct is to draw a bunny that the frogs have killed, but on the other hand, I really don't WANT to draw a dead bunny.

I'm torn between being faithful to John's text, and the fact that animal testing (regardless as to morals, ethics, and how many human lives it saves) makes me feel super sad for the animals.

Bunnies aside, I am also not sure how the read-ability works, having a panel that stretches across two pages at the bottom. I'm worried it'll confuse the reader. I'm going to try it out to test it, but the more I think about it, the more I'm going to get rid of the bunny. I just don't want to draw that sort of thing.

I started inking in the afternoon, and you can see how I flubbed the background on panels 7 and 8 (I don't know why I changed the numbering here. I think I thought it would be clearer?)

I drew Dr. Wessen looking too surprised in panel 9, and I plan to go back in later and put him more "in character" where he's a bit cold and distant as he talks about the horrors of the monsters.

If you look closely, you can see the scientists in blue pencil, looking at a dead bunny in the frog terrarium. I'm going to get rid of that and just have frogs.

In other news, Nathan's friend Zachary Bradley has offered to teach his digital painting techniques over google hangouts. I met up with him and and some friends on Monday, and tried to learn how to create digital paintings.

The right is the photo I was using (it's a stock photo that had some good lighting, and I liked the challenge of drawing the hair) and the left is my first attempt at creating a digital painting after Zach's class. I like the blue shadows, but it's still pretty flat, and her eyes are too big, but there's still some pretty good things happening where I feel that with practice, I'll be able to figure this stuff out.

I was feeling pretty pathetic with all the mistakes though, so I stayed up last night and worked on a pencil sketch in my sketchbook, trying to get better at learning proportions and, well, basically, "how to draw people, ones that aren't cartoony."

The eyes are still funky, (one is smaller than the other) and my axis's are off (the lines that divide the face in half, and keep the eyes on the same level) but I'm feeling pretty confident that it's something I can learn. I just have to keep practicing.

That's all I have for now. Thank y'all for being so patient while I get my butt in gear and try to get back on schedule!

(Which reminds me: I forgot to post Monday and Wednesday's comics! Yikes! I better get on that!)